Types of workplace bullying and potential legal protections in the U.S.

David Yamada provides a great overview of the types of bullying in the workplace along with the legal and liability perspective. I ask the question-what protections do victims and witnesses really have? Please share with hopes that someone is receiving help!

Minding the Workplace

Last year, counselor Rosemary K.M. Sword and noted psychologist Philip Zimbardo wrote up a nice little summary about the types of bullying that one might encounter in our society, including workplaces, for their Psychology Today blog, Time CureI’d like to take a quick look at those categories and then briefly discuss what potential legal protections may be available in cases of bullying at work.

Sword and Zimbardo identified six basic categories of bullying, while recognizing that these forms may overlap:

  • “Physical Bullying” covers “physical actions to gain power and control over their targets.”
  • “Verbal Bullying” uses “words, statements and name-calling to gain power and control over a target.”
  • “Prejudicial Bullying” is grounded in “prejudices people have toward people of different races, religions or sexual orientation.”
  • “Relational Aggression” refers to “a sneaky, insidious type of bullying that manifests as social manipulation.”
  • “Cyberbullying” involves the use of “the internet, cell…

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Workplace bullying: HR to the rescue?

This topic is discussed in my study on bullying in the workplace. For those interested this is a good blog to follow by David Yamada. Please look to the upper right and select subscribe.

Whose side is HR on? This is not a difficult question when you understand who works for who. HR works for the employers, period. The rules and policies they follow are from the employer, yes HR helps and develops them, but under the guidance of the employer and following what ever state and federal laws are in place. Please understand, HR is not violating any laws, they are just staying within their realm. Can they do more, YES! YES! They are the holders of information that can share to their employer the impacts and costs to the company. HR can offer solutions. They are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to bullying, but they also know the difference between right and wrong. In my study and in a large percentage of my readings, HR is not helping to make changes within organizations. Now I am not saying that all HRs are bad, no I am not saying that. But I do think they are the ones to help make the change within organization. My mind still boggles me as to why organizations have not stepped up and put policies in place. I am looking forward to reading more from Mr. Yamada.

I will be looking for more discussion and future postings on this topic.

Minding the Workplace

“Never fear, HR is here”??? (Image courtesy of clipartkid.com)

Over the weekend I was talking with a good friend about the roles that human resources offices play in responding to potential workplace bullying situations. We shared the observation that despite our considerable knowledge of workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse, we could not cite a “poster case” example of HR decisively and effectively coming to the rescue of a severely bullied worker.

This is not meant to be a snarky putdown of HR or the central role it plays in modern organizations. It’s just that stories of HR intervening on behalf of a bullied or mobbed employee, especially when the perpetrators are powerful individuals within the organization, appear to be rare. By contrast, we hear a lot of anguished tales about how “HR was useless,” “HR threw me under the bus,” and “HR protected the bullies.” In the worst instances, HR…

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Stress related issues-Workplace Bullying

It’s a good time to visit the Workplace Bullying Institute website. This site will keep you up to date on the impacts of bullying in the workplace. Studies continue to surface with startling statistics related to the horrors of bullying in the workplace. The Institute is run by Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie. Here is a link to see the latest:


I conducted a study and looked at the witnesses perspective of bullying. Interesting and scary facts surfaced. The questions still arise, why aren’t organizations paying more attention to the impacts and costs to the organization when they allow bullying to exists? Why is there not more aggressive policies in the workplace? These questions need to be answered for the safely and security of the employees. Here is the link to the study:


What is your experience with bullying? Are you the victim or the witness?

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Let’s talk about workplace bullying

Yes, to keep bullying in the workplace, we need to speak up and out about the situations. Please take note of the “what we can do” section of the article. What else can we do? You know who is being bullied in your workplace-why not say something about it. Talk to the victim, talk to the bullying. Start documenting what you see and hear and see what you can do together. Tune into the video. Thanks again MA.

Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill

Talking about workplace bullying is exactly how we get the word out that it exists, why it needs to stop, and what we can do about it. And that’s just what advocates Jessica Stensrud, Ty Weeks, and Andrew Winters did. In Shakeena Appleberry’s “Let Us Talk About It,” Shakeena, Jessica, Ty, and Andrew made these insightful points:

The basics of workplace bullying

  • Workplace bullying puts more emphasis on money than humans, often completely removing humanity from work.
  • Jealousy and insecurity lead to bullying in any forum.
  • When image becomes a priority, bullying can thrive.
  • Targets often fear reporting bullying because people know problems get covered up.
  • Bullying is learned behavior. It is malicious and intentional. They may have been taught poor coping mechanisms, lack the ability to love, or don’t love themselves.
  • Bullying is NOT about being tough. Tough, great bosses want the best out of people and bring the best…

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How workplace bullying targets have to pay for treatment they didn’t invite or deserve

Allowing bullying in the workplace is a cost to the organization. You have to wonder why they continue to support this activity when it costs them money. I am still looking for the first state to pass a healthy workplace bill. With the money they are spending I could house a lot of homeless folks with tiny houses and link them to services. Be safe, stay calm and ring in 2017 with a positive attitude. Thanks MA!

Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill

Bullying concept in workplace with angry and afraid eggs charact

Bullying leads to stress, and stress leads to health problems. Health problems can then eventually lead to poor work performance. At that point, workplace bullying targets can either:

  • Take paid sick leave, which lets employees prevent, recover from, and manage illness
  • File for workers compensation
  • Take family medical leave
  • Seek disability insurance

As of last year, Massachusetts employers are required to provide their employees with 10 sick days, still worse than Norway, Germany, the UK, and Japan (all offering up to 26 weeks) but better than the rest of the U.S., where there is no federal paid sick leave law or provision for replacing lost wages.

In a 2013 poll, the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) found that slightly more than half of respondents took no sick leave, leaving them vulnerable to health problems, poor work performance, and worsened personal relationships.

That means that nearly half of respondents took some…

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Why workplace bullying needs to stop

Great video provided by the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill. At some point the workplace needs to recognize this issue. It is serious and damaging to the employees and the culture of the organization.

Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill

Think bullying does your workplace any favors? Think again. Workplace bullying pushes away the very employees who uphold respect, dignity, and integrity. “Strong people will automatically stop trying if they feel unwanted. They won’t fix it or beg. They’ll just walk away.” Watch this video to understand how workplace bullying wreaks havoc on getting work done.

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Balancing Trump – Can Journalists Confront Bullies?

Wow…do you see Trump as a bully? Oh yes, in my opinion! I do not think the journalist are able to really handle Trump on the campaign trail. I believe there is some lack of understanding-but again, are they just shocked of how low or high he goes? Is Trump expressing his “white privilege” as commented by so many? I would love to hear your thoughts on Trump whether you agree or disagree.


It was personal for me when Hillary Clinton calmly responded to the racist tone of the current presidential campaign: “Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election.” She sounded so different than she has in other speeches. With just the right tone, she went point by point backed up by fact after fact. And then everything turned upside down. Uncomfortable with gray areas, talk show hosts and pundits quickly reframed the dialog as a schoolyard scrap.

…the meme of both sides dragging the presidential campaign to new lows has taken hold across the media. This palpably absurd argument was being stated as the sad truth across the Sunday shows this morning. – Huffington Post 8/28/16

Lessons Learned Fighting Bullies

A newsroom that goes with “he said, she said” when a call can be made is engaged in reckless behavior that may easily blow up in…

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